Decomposed granite is an attractive, affordable way to pave your patio, walkway, or driveway. It comes in shades of tan, brown, and gray, offering a soft yet rustic ground cover.
It’s made of granite aggregates, or rock crumbles, that are about 1/4″ in size or smaller. Some decomposed granite is nearly as small and fine as sand.
Decomposed Granite for Ground CoverWhen grass is not an option and you want a good ground cover, Decomposed Granite would be a good option. Low cost and easy to maintain. Nice rustic look.
Dividing a LandscapeThis decomposed granite is used a pathway filler for large stones along a divided landscape between a garden bed and lush grass.
Filler for pathwayAnother look at decomposed granite used a pathway filler for large stones along a separated path.
Types of Decomposed Granite
Loose Decomposed Granite – Loose decomposed granite, the least expensive type, is simply the granite aggregates without any additives. Uses for loose DG include:
- Landscape mulching
- Garden paths
- Play areas and sports courts
Since it is not a solid surface, loose decomposed granite provides excellent drainage. Once compacted, a patio or walkway covered with lose decomposed granite will be fairly hard. However, it is easily affected by erosion, meaning it needs to be filled in often.
Avoid laying loose decomposed granite near your house, as it is easy to track inside. This can create a bit of a mess to clean up, and can also damage hardwood flooring.
During the winter and in frequent rainfall, loose decomposed granite paving will become somewhat mushy and muddy. However, because it drains well, this is usually short-lived.
Stabilized Decomposed Granite
Stabilized decomposed granite has a stabilizer mixed in with the granite aggregates. Compared to loose decomposed granite, stabilized decomposed granite is more expensive, but it’s still less expensive than decorative concrete and natural stone.
Once spread and compacted, decomposed granite with a stabilizer will look similar to loose decomposed granite, with the top layer appearing loose and organic.
However, stabilized decomposed granite will be less susceptible to erosion. This quality gives it a longer life span and requires less maintenance. Many landscaping companies will deliver decomposed granite with a stabilizer already mixed in.
Decomposed Granite with Resin
This is the most expensive type of decomposed granite. Resin is added to the decomposed granite, creating a surface similar to asphalt.
Sometimes called poly pavement, decomposed granite with resin is the strongest and most durable option, making it great for driveways and high traffic areas.
The look will not be as natural as loose or stabilized decomposed granite, but it will be much more resilient. Pavements made with decomposed granite and resin will not erode or be tracked away.
One downside to selecting the resin option is that the drainage is nowhere near as good as loose or stabilized decomposed granite.
Laying decomposed granite is a fairly quick process:
- First, the area where the decomposed granite will be laid, should be excavated. This includes the removal of all plant life, large rocks, etc.
- Then, a weed barrier, such as landscaping fabric, should be laid down, with landscape edging installed around the perimeter.
- Next, the decomposed granite will be placed and compacted. At this point, your patio, walkway or driveway is ready to be used. Depending on the type of decomposed granite you installed, you may need to rake and replenish the surface periodically. For this reason, it is good to keep some extra decomposed granite of the same color on hand.
Keep in mind, when you first install the decomposed granite, it will have a darker color. But the hue will lighten up over time due to use and sun exposure.
When working with decomposed granite, be aware that the bags are very heavy. A single project requires numerous bags, which can add up to a lot of labor.
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